What Are Chess Clocks And What Are Your Choices?
If you’re planning to get serious about playing chess and compete in tournaments, you’re probably looking at chess clocks.
Things have changed a lot where chess clocks are concerned.
You used to get a choice of a couple of different kinds and that was it, but since batteries and digital clocks came along it’s hard to decide.
The older analog chess clocks are really museum pieces now.
They’re fun if you like fast games at home and slapping the button to make your opponent’s pieces go flying all over the board but if you’re gearing up for competition you’ll have to make a decision about which chess clocks you like and can trust and are easy to set up.
This page should help you make the decision.
Digital Chess Clocks
Analog Chess Clocks
Wooden Chess Clock
So What Are The Best Chess Clocks?
The best chess clock is always going to be one you can trust, read quickly and can be set up so it does exactly what you want without a hassle.
Digital clocks are preferred by the USCF and you’ll need an accurate, good quality digital chess clock to take with you to your chess club and regulated tournaments.
Black has the right to use the chess clock he brought with him BUT if his is analog and white’s is digital, the digital chess clock will win, because they are preferred by the United States Chess Federation. So it makes sense to purchase a digital chess clock, even if you use an analog clock at home for practice.
Below we’re going to list a number of the most popular chess clocks available.
Prices are across the board (no pun intended!) so you should find a reliable chess clock to fit your budget.
Chronos Chess Clocks
Chronos chess clocks are probably the most popular timers in the United States.
They do cost a little more than many other clocks but for reliability and ease of use they are outstanding.
With large digital numbers they are ideal for the young and older players who may have diminishing eyesight.
It won’t take long to learn how to set this clever clock and use it in a wide variety of play modes.
The manual is 48 pages long – did we mention this clock is extremely versatile? You can set it to blitz mode or tournament mode, or set it up exactly the way you want it. There are plenty of pre-set modes you can use, so once this clock is programmed up you can forget about it unless you want to add or change something.
It also has options so you can set it to beep when you want it to and also adjust the LED lights. You can also purchase a handy cloth case to protect your Chronos Chess clocks.
Chronos Chess Clocks are proudly made in the USA.
DGT Chess Clocks
Another good choice would be any of the wide range of DGT chess clocks.
The DGT North American clock has a wide range of timing choices and programming is easy and intuitive.
DGT chess clocks always get good feedback from users and you can choose from many different finishes and sizes.
One thing that makes the DGT North American stand out from others is that you can easily see whose turn it is!
A simple visual aid that many chess clock manufacturers overlook.
BHB Chess Clocks
BHB Chess clocks are analog and that’s really the only problem.
They look like old-fashioned chess clocks but come in a huge range of colors.
They are well known for their reliability and durability and made in Europe from only the highest quality components.
These are the neatest analog chess clocks on the market and they don’t need batteries.
Analog chess clocks are far less complicated than some of their digital counterparts so if you’re looking for simplicity and elegance one of these BHB chess clocks will be an excellent choice.
Saitek Chess Clocks
There are two Saitek chess clocks that come highly recommended.
The first is the Saitek competition game clock.
This is an attractive and reliable digital chess clock that is perfect for school use, although it offers 10 different timer modes so it’s versatile and can be used with any board game.
It has a very clear digital readout and an option to turn off sounds and the LEDs. It comes in bright blue and is durable enough to take some serious knocks.
The Saitek Competition Pro is an attractive mid-priced chess clock that is durable, attractive and suitable for using with any kind of game such as Scrabble that needs to be timed.
It’s very modern looking with a brushed steel finish with black trim and offers 25 different timer modes, 3 of which you can program yourself.
It’s also small and lightweight and costs less than half of many more expensive chess clocks.
Excalibur Chess Clock
Excalibur chess clocks are the United States Chess Federation’s timer of choice and the World Chess Hall of Fame, which has to add a lot of credibility to the brand.
You can use the Excalibur chess clock to time any kind of board game that you want.
It displays the time in easily readable 3/4″ digits and will keep precise time while you’re playing.
This is also another timer that visibly shows you when it’s your move with a white button that contrasts clearly against the black body of the timer.
You will also have the choice of a LED signal or tone when time is up, or no sound or light at all.
With large buttons the Excalibur chess clock is easy to operate and it’s very compact. Measuring just 6-3/4 x 4 x 2-1/2 inches the Excalibur chess clock is perfect for slipping into your pocket for a chess game in the park, or into a bag with your board and pieces.
So that makes up our list of the most reliable and durable chess clocks that get the best feedback from real chess players.
If you’re going to join a Chess Club or play tournaments it’s a good idea to invest in one of the best digital chess clocks on the market.
Or if you just like to enjoy an occasional game of chess at home with family and friends, then there’s no need to spend a fortune on a chess clock.
Just choose one that’s reliable and you find attractive and the best chess clock to fit your budget.